Ray McKinnis

Ray McKinnis

Ray McKinnis is a Counselor in Wheaton, IL specializing in anonymous substance abuse and LGBT populations. He can be reached at dreamsampm@aol.com.

  • Listen Carefully and You Will be Heard

    Mar 09, 2011
    Last week I had my annual physical. I went to a doctor I hadn’t seen before. He was one of the best doctors I have ever encountered. Two aspects of his manner are especially relevant to counselors: 1. He listened to me and took me seriously, but 2. He was not interested in ‘archeology’ but present conditions and concerns. Both of these were so surprising to me, so helpful and so ‘on target’ that I trusted the feedback and recommendations he gave me. I felt he understood me; not some medical model of a typical patient. So when he suggested I might follow-up on this or that condition, I took him seriously and will follow-up.
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  • Are Males and Females Different Morally?

    Feb 24, 2011
    No wonder the clash between Lawrence Kohlberg and Carol Gilligan is so confusing. Each seems to be using a different metaphor in their moral thinking. (See my blog 2 weeks ago or, better yet, H. Richard Niebuhr’s The Responsible Self’.) For the most part, Kohlberg uses ‘man-the-lawmaker’ to guide his description of the development of moral consciousness—justice and the order of community are two of his driving ideas. This metaphor requires answers to these three questions: 1. What is the law governing this situation? 2. What authority requires obedience to this law? and 3. What is the punishment for disobeying this law? Even in stage 3 when he talks about good motives and intentions, man-the-lawmaker is being followed because these are an important part of determining punishment in any court of law. This stage and further stages note that it is human beings who make and enforce the rules and that human beings are not as rigid as the legalist morals might imply. Justice has a human side.
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  • The ACA Code of Ethics Mixes Metaphors

    Feb 14, 2011
    In my last blog, I described the 3 metaphors that are most often used in discussions of morals and ethics. Unfortunately these are usually used without any awareness of their being used. When I first read the ACA Code of Ethics, I was confused. Now I know why. It uses a mixture of these 3 metaphors seemingly without any awareness of their implications. I hope by sharing my ‘aha’ experiences with this code, you too can get a clearer understanding of what its various section imply.
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  • What’s Your Moral Metaphor?

    Feb 07, 2011
    All moral decisions use some metaphor to explain and justify those decisions. That is, all discussions of morality use a particular guiding ‘metaphor’ to make sense of what’s happing and how to respond responsibly to what’s happening. One aspect of human behavior is used to explain moral decisions (a kind of synecdoche). The ‘the Thou shalts’ and ‘Thou shalt nots’ are embedded in a particular context determined by that metaphor. The metaphor you choose determines the course of your discussion. These metaphors both offer opportunities for understanding behavior but also can create a kind of prison—a prison that can be escaped only by choosing a different metaphor.
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  • Heinz is Subversive!

    Jan 28, 2011
    Whenever I read discussions of moral development or research results on stages of moral judgment in the counseling literature, I feel like I’m reading the curriculum for a Sunday School or a Sabbath School or even an assignment for an elementary school class in moral development in a parochial school! Certainly, moral consciousness/judgment as well as morality itself are critical topics for counselors. Behaviors as well as thinking and feelings are affected by what an individual judges what they should or should not be doing—this is true both of our clients and ourselves as counselors. It is also an essential element in any religion.
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